How big is the pet memorial business? Nationally, it’s expected pet owners will spend over $12 billion this year on pet afterlife services. The market for memorialization for pets is one of the fastest growing deathcare markets in the United States and Canada. In addition to cremation, some opt for a full funeral service.
Presently, there are no pet funeral homes in Connecticut, but Robert Sagarino of Forever Companions Pet Loss Services is hoping to be the first to open one. He is a licensed funeral director and aftercare provider, whose business provides cremation and burial services, complete with caskets and urns. He also offers a wide array of jewelry you can purchase that contains your pet’s ashes.
Simsbury Man Offers Pet Funerals and Cremation
Simsbury Man Offers Pet Funerals, Cremation
August 10, 2012|By HILLARY FEDERICO, , The Hartford Courant
SIMSBURY — — Thanks to one local man, beloved family pets can now have funerals fit for a human.
When Robert Sagarino lost his 17-year-old Shih Tzu, he and his wife discovered that their options for honoring a deceased pet were limited.
"It's something you never really want to experience, but it's something everyone goes through," Sagarino said. "There was something missing. Pet parents needed something else, something more."
So Sagarino, a licensed funeral director, founded Forever Companions Pet Loss Services, which offers funeral and burial services as well as pet cremations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sagarino's business, which he operates from his home on Bushy Hill Road, joins one of the fastest growing death markets in the U.S. and Canada, according to the Cremation Association of North America.
According to the 2011-2012 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey, 62 percent of U.S. households own a pet, whicuates to 72.9 million homes. In 1988, the first year the survey was conducted, 56 percent of U.S. households owned a pet.
This year, it is estimated that pet owners nationwide will spend $52.87 billion on their animals.
Sagarino said he accepts "everything from A to Z" and will work with the pet owner to determine budget, final arrangements for the pet and offer grief counseling.
Depending on the size of the animal — Forever Companions cannot accept livestock such as horses or cattle — burials can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,500, Sagarino said. Cremations will typically run a pet owner between $249 and $300. Sagarino will respond to a call anywhere in the state to pick up a deceased pet, he said.
"Grief is grief. Where it differs is that pets have become a member of the family. For someone who has lost a husband or a wife, the pet kind of becomes a companion and the feeling of losing it is just the same," Sagarino said.
For more information or to make an appointment, visit http://www.forevercompanions.com.